Dayal hints at front of secular forces
The Punjab CPI secretary, Dr Joginder Dayal, yesterday did not rule out the possibility of a third front of secular forces, including the CPI, CPM, Congress and BSP. Talking to newsmen here, Dr Dayal expressed satisfaction that the Bahujan Samaj Party was coming out of its casteist shell and the CPI would like it to join the secular forces to defeat the communal SAD-BJP combine. When asked whether the CPM would veer round to this idea, Dr Dayal quipped that they (CPI and CPM) were together in all recently held polls in Punjab. While the BSP chief, Mr Kanshi Ram, was now talking about oppressed classes, the PPCC president, Captain Amarinder Singh, had also altered his earlier stand on the Leftists.
Referring to the WTO, Dr Dayal, declared that the CPI would organise 500 rallies in the state before June 21 against it. Since early May, 100 such rallies had already been held, he disclosed.
Punjab is the worst hit state by the WTO as it produced 2 crore tonnes of foodgrains. He opposed the Central Government’s move to pull out the FCI from the procurement field and abandoning the policy of minimum support price.
To call India a surplus foodgrain country was a fallacy, he quipped. “We have 20 crore tonnes of foodgrains and 220 gm per capita consumption for one billion people”, he said. China, with a 110 crore population and 40 crore tonnes of foodgrain, had 450 gm per capita consumption, he added.
The faulty economic policies of the government had swelled the number of poor from 37 per cent in 1990 to 43 per cent at present, alleged Dr Dayal.
As far industry and education were concerned, 5.5 lakh units had closed down while education had crumbled in rural areas and had become a commodity for the elite in urban areas, continued the CPI stalwart. The NDA was being dictated by the USA and the Punjab government was being dictated by the NDA, he quipped. The NDA government was not imposing quantitative restrictions on imports under the influence of the USA, he alleged. Mr Badal was opposing the move to pull out the FCI from the agriculture sector but he himself was privatising the public sector, including roadways, power, sugar and spinning mills, alleged Dr Dayal. Mills were being sold at throwaway prices to favour his henchmen, he alleged.
Maintaining that the country was losing political independence since the USA was dictating terms, Dr Dayal alleged that India had agreed to third party mediation for solving the Jammu and Kashmir problem. The NDA government had changed the five-decade-old stand against third party intervention, alleged Dr Dayal.
The CPI had always favoured a negotiated settlement of the issue and welcomed the invitation to the Pakistan military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, and withdrawal of the unilateral ceasefire but the party wanted the NDA Government to put pressure on Pakistan for ending training of terrorists, asserted the Communist leader. He called the NDA’s Kashmir policy a fiasco.
Communalism now is not at the people’s level but at the government level, alleged Dr Dayal. The BJP at the Centre was saffronising politics and education, and distorting history while Mr Badal in Punjab was playing the communal card, he added. The drama of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal’s arrest had exposed the Akalis and the law and order situation had worsened, he asserted.
Dr Dayal also took Mr Badal to task for debasing democracy by doling out grants to ‘buy’ votes in the so-called ‘sangat darshan’ meetings. Mr Niranjan Singh Ucha, district secretary, also spoke. Families of freedom fighters were also honoured on the occasion.